MPs Turn Away Accounting Officers over Audit Queries

The Public Accounts Committee- PAC Local Government on Thursday turned away seven Chief Administrative Officers-CAOs from the Ankole region for failing to answer audit queries.

The accounting officers from Mbarara District and City, Rwampara, Bushenyi Ishaka Municipality, Ntungamo, Sheema, and Kisoro Municipalities appeared before MPs at Mbarara District Headquarters to respond to queries that were raised in the Auditor General’s report for the financial year 2021/2022.

Martin Ojara Mapenduzi, the Chairperson of the Committee and Member of Parliament Bardege-Layibi Division, Gulu City says that the officers failed to respond to several queries that include the delayed access to the payroll of newly recruited staff, delayed access to payroll by pensioners, and land issues among others.

Mapenduzi says that the officers were sent back and granted adequate time to prepare because they were presenting uncoordinated information.

The committee gave the accounting officers two weeks to prepare the necessary information and appear before the committee in Kampala. They were also warned against forging documents.

During the meeting, the Sheema Municipality Town Clerk, Samuel, Acting Engineer Achilles Byabasheija, and Acting Treasury Apophia Natuhamya were also handed over to the police for investigations after they were accused of diverting funds.

According to the Auditor General’s report, the three failed to adhere to the guidelines of the Discretionary Development Equalization Grant (DDEG) that provides that funds shall be diverted to eligible activities.

Appearing before the Committee chaired by lead counsel and Wakiso Woman MP, Betty Naluyima Bethel, Ahabwe was asked to explain how he spent 190 Million Shillings exceeding the required threshold of 10 percent on infrastructural projects, Investment servicing, and monitoring and Performance improvement respectively contrary to the DDEG guidelines.

Ahabwe, however, failed to respond to the queries and had no documents. He later acknowledged that there was an anomaly.   

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